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Date: 05-08-2024

Case Style:

United States of America v. Douglas Smith

Case Number:


Court: United States District Court for the District of New Mexico (Bernalillo County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States District Attorney's Office in Albuquerque

Defendant's Attorney:

Description: Albuquerque, New Mexico criminal defense lawyer represented the Defendant who was charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Douglas Smith was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for an act he committed on his property located within the exterior boundaries of the Pueblo of Santa Clara. Smith shot and killed Maria Gallegos, who he saw trying to break into a trailer on his property. Prior to trial, Smith moved to dismiss the case for lack of federal jurisdiction, arguing that the federal district court lacked criminal jurisdiction over crimes committed on his property and that Congress acted outside its constitutional authority when it passed the Indian Pueblo Land Act Amendments of 2005. The district court denied his motion.

Outcome: Defendant was found guilty. Affirmed on appeal by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Docket number: 22-2142

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